Chef turns infrastructure into code. With Chef, you can automate how you build, deploy, and manage your infrastructure. Your infrastructure becomes as versionable, testable, and repeatable as application code.
Chef relies on reusable definitions known as recipes to automate infrastructure tasks. Examples of recipes are instructions for configuring web servers, databases and load balancers. Together, recipes describe what your infrastructure consists of and how each part of your infrastructure should be deployed, configured and managed.
Recipes use building blocks called resources. A resource describes some piece of infrastructure, such as a file, a template, or a package to be installed. You can use the many resources included in Chef, or create your own to manage unique configurations and legacy systems.
The Chef server stores your recipes as well as other configuration data. The Chef client is installed on each node in your network. A node can be a physical server, a virtual server or a container instance. The Chef client periodically polls the Chef server for the latest recipes and checks to see if the node is in compliance with the policy defined by these recipes. If the node is out of date, the Chef client runs them on the node to bring it up to date.
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